Rogers Cup Friday Preview: The Men’s and Women’s Match of the Day - UBITENNIS
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Rogers Cup Friday Preview: The Men’s and Women’s Match of the Day

Can Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep continue their winning runs in Canada?

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In Toronto, the day will begin with a battle between two top six players.  Grigor Dimitrov, having survived final set tiebreaks in each of his last two matches, takes on Wimbledon Finalist Kevin Anderson.  From there, it’s a rematch from the semifinals last week in DC. A day removed from the biggest win of his career over Novak Djokovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas will face fellow ATP Next Gen standout Alexander Zverev.  The night session will start with Robin Haase against Karen Khachanov, followed by a face-off of Major champions in Rafael Nadal and Marin Cilic.

In Montreal, play will commence with Australian Number One Ashleigh Barty facing one of the hottest players on tour, Kiki Bertens.  Next up will be a rematch from last year’s US Open quarterfinals, where Sloane Stephens survived a third set tiebreak in a highly-entertaining affair against Anastasija Sevastova.  In the evening, World Number One Simona Halep takes on World Number Six Caroline Garcia, before Defending Champion Elina Svitolina plays an up-and-coming 22-year-old in Elise Mertens.

Rafael Nadal vs. Marin Cilic

This is a rematch from the quarter-finals at this year’s Australian Open, when Cilic outlasted Nadal, and Rafa was forced to retire in the fifth set.  Unfortunately for Marin, the career head-to-head gets pretty lopsided from there, with Cilic’s only other win in their seven previous meetings coming almost 10 years ago.  Nadal will look at avenge that Melbourne loss on Friday, as Cilic looks to get back on track following the stunning upset he suffered at Wimbledon. After being up two sets, he choked away the lead and lost to a clay court specialist in Guido Pella.  That’s the kind of loss that can stick with you for awhile, so I’m curious to see if Cilic shows any ill effects in his first tournament since. Nadal was pushed on Thursday night by a resurgent Stan Wawrinka, but pulled out the win in the end. I expect a similar story to be told in this one.

Simona Halep vs. Caroline Garcia

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Coming off nearly five sets of tennis on Thursday after not playing for a month, how much will Halep have left here?  She’ll likely need her best against Garcia, who handily defeated an in-form Maria Sharapova on Thursday. Simona owns a 4-1 record against Caroline, including a straightforward victory just a few months ago in the quarterfinals of Rome.  But Garcia’s lone win was a big one, in the final of the hard court event in Beijing last year. That was the biggest title of her career, and qualified her for the WTA Finals for the first time. This is a good opportunity for Garcia to notch another win over a tired and less-than-100% Halep.  Simona was complaining of being in pain on Thursday due to blisters on her feet, and that was during the first of her two matches on the day. But as we’ve seen many times in the past year, Halep has a lot of fight in her. If Halep is up for another fight, this has the potential to be a good one.

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Acapulco Faces Safety Issues Ahead Of ATP 500 Tournament

Acapulco faces safety and infrastructure issues before the ATP 500 tournament next week.

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Acapulco has faced safety concerns ahead of the tournament as players have been advised to stay in the tournament hotels or tennis venues.

As exclusively revealed by James Gray of the i newspaper, Acapulco is facing security and infrastructure concerns ahead of the tournament.

ATP players have reportedly been told in an email to stay confined to the tournament hotels and the tennis venue as crime rates have increased in the city.

Organisers in Mexico have reassured people that players will be able to train safely with the following statement, “The Arena GNP, venue for the Mexican Open of Tennis, and the host hotel are currently operational to carry out the tournament,” the tournament organisers told the i newspaper.

“Since Tuesday, we have been receiving players in Acapulco, and they have already had the opportunity to train at the venue.”

However there are still infrastructural problems including lack of flights to Acapulco as well as other safety concerns which have been affected by Hurricane Otis.

Despite the problems the ATP seem confident that the event will be safe and secure ahead of the ATP 500 event, “It is not uncommon for players to receive security advisories from ATP as a precautionary measure across more than 250 Tour and Challenger Tour events each season,” A spokesperson told the i newspaper.

“The advisory sent for Acapulco factors in the additional complexity of Hurricane Otis’ disruption. There have been major efforts and investment to restore the Acapulco venue in recent months.”

The ATP 500 event in Acapulco will take place next week with Alex De Minaur being the defending champion.

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Ons Jabeur’s Latest Withdrawal Raises Doubts Over Season Ambitions

Ons Jabeur will be hoping to re-energize herself ahead of a big few months in her career.

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Ons Jabeur’s latest withdrawal in Dubai has raised doubts over how successful the Tunisian can be this season.

Despite having high hopes for revitalizing her season in Dubai, Ons Jabeur has had another setback in 2024.

The Tunisian was forced to withdraw from one of her favourite tournaments of the year in Dubai due to a knee injury.

This withdrawal came days after Jabeur said she was ready for the challenge in Dubai and was excited to compete in front of a passionate crowd in Dubai.

In a statement Jabeur explained her injury and why she was unable to compete in Dubai this week, “After consultation of my doctors and team we have decided that I will have to withdraw from Dubai this week and go for more medical treatments,” Jabeur was quoted by tennishead as saying.

“Looking forward to reconnect with all on the courts for the US swing. Thank you for your continuous support.”

This latest setback isn’t a coincidence though as Jabeur has struggled with injuries ever since her Wimbledon final.

The mental and physical toll that the last eight months have taken of Jabeur are starting to show.

There doesn’t seem to be a plan in place as Jabeur has been open about her mental health struggles since that comprehensive defeat to Marketa Vondrousova at Wimbledon.

That’s a potential problem for Jabeur going forwards as it continues to get tougher for the world number six to find motivation going forwards.

A long break away from tennis may be beneficial for Jabeur as it feels like this summer may be the Tunisian’s last opportunity at Grand Slam glory.

An innovative and new approach may be required for Jabeur as her physical and mental stamina continues to fade with every week.

However will Jabeur manage reinvent herself before it’s too late? Only time will tell and SW19 may be the final destination in that bid.

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Iga Swiatek ‘Proud’ After Claiming Doha Title

World number one Iga Swiatek won her 18th career title in Doha.

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Iga Swiatek defeated Elena Rybakina 7-6(8) 6-2 to claim the title in Doha.

The world number one sealed an 18th career title with a straight sets win over Rybakina.

Swiatek had previously struggled to beat the Kazakh and that continued at the start of the opening set with the Pole conceding a double break deficit at 4-1.

However Swiatek was resilient as she won four games in a row to get back on track in the opening set.

Rybakina broke in the eleventh game and had the opportunity to serve for the opening set but couldn’t take the opportunity.

In the tiebreak, Swiatek converted her fourth set point as she claimed a mammoth tiebreak 10-8.

After that Swiatek seized control as she broke twice after saving two break points in the second game.

The Pole held comfortably to claim her maiden title of the 2024 season in what was her first tournament since a third round exit at the Australian Open.

In her-post match speech Swiatek admitted that she is proud of her performance in Doha this week, “You don’t even know hard it was not to think about it,” Swiatek was quoted by France 24 as saying after winning her 13th match in Doha.

“I came here and was pretty stressed because I felt the expectations. I wanted to do everything step by step like I always do. I’m really happy. I’m really proud of myself.”

Swiatek will now look to continue that form in Dubai next week where she takes on either Sloane Stephens or Clara Burel in her opening round match.

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